Best time to visit Santorini

Whitewashing Houses in Santorini 2025

Watch the locals paint their iconic houses white and blue every spring

Best time: April

Whitewashing Houses
Whitewashing Houses
Whitewashing Houses

Every year before Easter, Santorini residents refresh the paint on their houses to get this clean look that you often see on the pictures from the Cyclades Islands. Houses in this part of Greece are traditionally covered with hydrated lime and water. It's a cheap and very effective paint, but it needs to be reapplied at least once a year. The coating also has antimicrobial properties and was used for centuries to fight epidemics. Sometimes people add a bit of blue color in the whitewash to reduce its brightness. Blue and white colors also are symbolic since they represent the Greek flag.

White color reflects light so it helps houses to stay cool in the summer. Many buildings are very old and don't have any air-conditioning. Some houses are whitewashed up to three times a year, but most residents do it once a year, during spring. Every person is responsible for painting their own home.

Practical info

What is the best time for the whitewashing of houses in Santorini?

Houses in Santorini are whitewashed in April before Easter. This is a long-standing tradition in this part of Greece. Homeowners take pride in how their homes look and spend a lot of time painting. The whitewash is used to reflect light, which keeps homes cool in summer. Many repetitive whitewashing is required as the coating needs to be reapplied yearly. Show more

What is the reason for the white and blue color of houses in Santorini?

Houses in Santorini are painted white to reflect light and keep them cool in summer. As most homes are very ancient and don't have air conditioning, the white color is important. The blue color used in the whitewash represents the Greek flag and has symbolic significance. Adding some blue color in the mix reduces the brightness of traditional whitewash. Show more

How often do people apply the paint in Santorini?

In Santorini, homeowners use a homemade paint made from hydrated lime and water, which is cheap and effective. They paint their houses once a year, usually during the spring. This is usually done to help fight against the elements, dampness, and epidemics. Every homeowner is responsible for the painting of their own home, and this tradition has been handed down over generations. Show more

What is the significance of using hydrated lime and water to paint in Santorini?

Hydrated lime and water are used to paint houses in Santorini, and there are several reasons for this. The coating has antimicrobial properties that help fight against diseases. It is cost-effective, easy to apply, and also reflects light, making buildings look bigger and brighter. However, it needs to be reapplied every year to continue functioning at its best. Show more

What role did traditional whitewashing play in fighting epidemics in Santorini?

Whitewashing played a crucial role in fighting epidemics in Santorini in the past. The hydrated lime in the whitewash has antimicrobial properties that help prevent the spread of diseases. It also deters pests and insects. Whitewashing also helps to prevent dampness, making buildings much sturdier in withstanding the elements. This tradition has been going on for centuries and still remains an integral part of Greek culture. Show more

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Authors: Olha Savych